Regulations for Temporarily Importing Firearms and Ammunition into the U.S.
- The non-resident must provide U.S. Customs with a pre-approved U.S. import permit and evidence that they fall into an exemption category (by providing a valid State hunting licence/permit or an invitation to compete in a target shooting event or to display firearms or ammunition at a sports or hunting trade show sponsored by a national, State or local firearms trade organization devoted to the competitive use or other sporting use of firearms) before they will be allowed to import firearms or ammunition.
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) issues the required import permit. This permit can be obtained by completing ATF Form 6NIA (Application and Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Nonimmigrant Aliens). It can take 6 to 12 weeks to process the application so the permit should be applied for well in advance.
*The application form for the import permit must be accompanied by a copy of a U.S. hunting licence or an invitation to a target/sport shooting competition.*
If a non-resident plans to attend numerous competitive target shooting events/sports or hunting or trade shows during the year, but does not expect to have invitations/registrations until shortly before each event, they may want to rely on the hunting licence exception. In other words, non-residents may want to provide ATF with a hunting licence along with their ATF Form 6NIA rather than invitations/registrations.
PLEASE NOTE: Non-residents do not need a U.S. export permit to export firearms or ammunition that were temporarily imported into the U.S. for an approved purpose.
New Form Issued for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Nonimmigrant Aliens
ATF has created a new application/permit for nonimmigrant aliens temporarily bringing firearms or ammunition into the United States for hunting or other lawful sporting purposes. The new application/permit is called ATF Form 6NIA (Application and Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Nonimmigrant Aliens). Click here for information, FAQs and thenew form.
If you have any questions about the regulations, please call the ATF Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch at (202) 927-8320. Information about the regulations is also available on the ATF Web site.